One of the things I admire about Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is he isn’t afraid to make a change or be aggressive in regards to his football team or during a game. He puts a lot of thought into his decisions even if they might be unpopular. Such as the decision to make rookie Tua Tagovailoa the starting quarterback over Ryan Fitzpatrick after 6 games this season. Flores seems to have a good feel for his team and if he has to shake things up he does so because he believes it’s best for the team.
Last year just days into training camp, he fired his offensive line coach right out of the gate. He made the change because he felt young his young lineman were not being coached in a manner he agreed with. Then after the season Flores fired his offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea and let his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham leave to take a lateral move with the New York Giants. With all of the improvement, the Dolphins made last year as the season went on and won five out of their last 9 games it was stunning to think that he made significant changes at two key spots on his staff after the season.
On the field, Flores showed his aggressive nature last year with surprise onside kicks and trick plays like the Mountaineer Shot play vs the Eagles when punter Matt Hauck threw a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders. This year he went for a fake punt against the San Francisco 49ers when the team was up 30-14; when’s the last time any Dolphins coach did something like that?
Now Flores has made the switch to his rookie quarterback over the veteran who was popular with the locker-room. I believe Flores put a lot of thought into this decision being that it is the quarterback position and that is the most important position on any football team. Fitzpatrick is putting up good numbers, but the offense has been inconsistent at times this year. Flores probably felt if the offense is going to be inconsistent with a veteran he might as well go with Tagovailoa to get him experience and hope he gets better with each snap he takes.
This decision wasn’t easy given the fact that Fitzpatrick is the leader of this team and has the respect of his teammates. Players love playing with Fitz. Flores, unlike previous coaches, also has the pulse and respect of this team so if he believes this move is best for the team then he will send that message to the team so everyone is on the same page.
Flores is going to let his team sink or swim Tagovailoa and if he thinks the young quarterback is ready now who are we to question. We will see if his bold decision pays off.